Feasting at Home : Pickled Summer Squash

September 27, 2012

Pickled Summer Squash

Here is something to try with all the summer squash still left in your garden....

Jill came over the other day with these gorgeous white patty pan squash she grew over the summer. Last summer she had an over abundance of summer squash and came up with the great idea of extending their shelf life by pickling them. They were so delicious and really simple to make, so I asked her to recreate them here.

I am constantly amazed at what comes out of Jill's garden.  It's pretty much like her own personal farmer's market in her backyard. She seems to have the touch and shares some good gardening tips in  Diary of a Garden. 

 Jill has been a friend to me for a long time now. Through thick and thin, she's been steady and constant. She is one of those friends that really doesn't know how incredible she is, on so many levels. Which of course, makes her all the more incredible. Her no nonsense approach to life is refreshing.  And her layers run deep, rooted in kindness.

Start by cutting your summer quash.
To get a very thin even slices, carefully slice squash with a mandolin.
Salting and draining the squash beforehand releases water and gives the pickles a crunchier texture. 

Fresh Dill and Mustard Seeds are a good combination of flavors.

Fill the bottom of jars with seeds and herbs. Play around with your own combination.

Jill uses these great Weck canning jars that come in all different sizes.... available here.

Thinly sliced onion or garlic or chili peppers add flavor, color and heat.

Make a quick pickling liquid with vinegar, water, sugar and salt... and bring to a boil.
Let cool.

 Layer your squash.
You could add thinly sliced onions in between each layer.

Top with a little fresh dill.

Pour your cooled pickling liquid over the squash.

 Press down, seal and refrigerate.

These will last 2 weeks in your fridge.

These are terrific on sandwiches and burgers, or try on a charcuterie plate,
or even a bring as a side to a BBQ.
They also make a great hostess gift.

Another of Jill's many talents is organization.
She purchased an old fashioned label maker which she recently put to good use in her spice drawer.
I like how the names are visible from the top.  A very efficient use of space.
My spice drawer contains all different sizes of bottles and containers, a jumbled frustrating mess.
She buys spices from the bulk section,
only buying enough to fill the jars, that way spices are always fresh. 
 These particular spice jars are available to buy here.
Make sure to measure your drawer height, so jars can stand upright.

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Jill's Pickled Summer Squash

  • 1 lb patty pan, crook neck or zucchini squash-or enough to fill four small 4 oz  jars- (pick squash no bigger in diameter than the width of the jars you will be using).
  • 1 small onion or shallot, sliced thin
  • 1  garlic clove, sliced - per jar
  • 1 T fresh dill -per jar
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds- per jar
  • 1/2 tsp whole peppercorns- per jar
  • 1 small red chile, sliced thin
  • 1 T kosher salt
  • ----
  • 1 C white vinegar
  • 1/2 C rice vinegar
  • 1/3 C sugar

Using a mandolin, carefully slice the summer squash. If using a knife, make sure to cut pieces as evenly as possible, to the same thickness. Thicker slices will result in a crunchier pickle. Paper thin will be softer. 

Do the same with one small onion, or shallot. Toss both onion and squash in a bowl with a tablespoon of salt and let drain in a colander or strainer over a bowl in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight. Pat dry.

In each 4 oz jar, add about a tablespoon of fresh dill, a teaspoon of mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp peppercorns, a few slices of chile pepper and sliced garlic cloves. You could also try experimenting with other seeds like whole coriander, cumin, or fennel seed. Then layer the squash in jars, and top off with the pickling liquid. Press down on the squash. Seal, and let cool in the fridge, they will keep for up to two weeks.

For the pickling solution:
In a small pot, bring 1 cup white wine vinegar, 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar, 1/3 c sugar, to a boil until sugar dissolves, let cool slightly. 


  1. I get to eat some next weekend! I can't wait. Nice hands!

  2. Can you hot water bath these for longer storage?

    1. I would think so... but have never tried personally.

  3. Looks great!! My biggest question: Where did you find the jars?

    1. The canning jars are called Weck Jars, available at a lot of stores if you just google them ( Williams Sonoma, Crate and Barrel). The spice jars were from World Market. They have two sizes.. the shorter ones fit in my drawers nicely.

  4. Instead of a hot water bath, I actually use the dishwasher, however I have preserved these as you are talking about and yes they can be. They take a bread and butter flavor